Fifty years ago today, February 10, one of the best-selling and most beloved albums of all time was released: Carole King’s Tapestry. Here are five fascinating facts about this landmark 1971 album:
#5. In 1972, Carole King became the first solo female artist to win the Grammy for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, for “It’s Too Late” and “You’ve Got a Friend,” respectively. Both songs were from Tapestry, which was named Album of the Year.
#4. Tapestry was #1 on the charts for 15 straight weeks and spent a total of 318 weeks in the Billboard Top 200 — a record for a female artist that wasn’t broken until 2017, by Adele and her album 21.
#3. Tapestry featured Carole’s versions of two songs she’d written that were already hits for other artists: The Shirelles‘ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and Aretha Franklin‘s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” While Tapestry was still on the charts, James Taylor had a #1 hit with another Tapestry song: “You’ve Got a Friend.”
#2. The iconic cover of the Tapestry album was shot in King’s house in Laurel Canyon. She’s holding an actual tapestry that she hand-stitched, and she’s posing with her cat, Telemachus.
#1. In 2016, King performed Tapestry live in its entirety for the first time in London’s Hyde Park.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame VP of Education Jason Hanley says of Tapestry, “It was an album that set a standard for any songwriter coming after that.”
He adds, “The intimacy of that record, listening to her voice and the piano, the really gorgeous arrangements…I think that’s an album now, 50 years on, looking back, you still feel like that album is so important every time you put it on.”
By Andrea Dresdale
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